Kohler Engines, a Kohler company that has specialized in engine production for more than a century, and Grastim, a JV specializing in high-efficiency technology solutions, have signed an agreement for a new hybrid self-generation plant at the Reggio Emilia facility in Italy. The project includes a 2 MW trigeneration plant and an 860 kW photovoltaic park integrated with each other, as well as the possibility of also being powered by hydrogen (hydrogen ready).
The two plants together, trigeneration and photovoltaics, will have important environmental and economic impacts: they will ensure a CO2 reduction of up to 1,300 tons per year, equal to almost 20 percent (19.5 percent) of the site's energy emissions, and ab energy cost savings of up to 15 percent.
In parallel Kohler will be deploying Heila Technologies, a Kohler company, Heila IQ system to monitor and optimize plant energy use.
Core to the plant is an INNIO Jenbacher natural gas engine, distributed by another Kohler company, Clarke Energy.
The entire hybrid plant is already set up for the future: photovoltaics could be extended over parking areas and other buildings for up to an additional 2 MW, and the cogeneration module is already hydrogen ready, meaning it is capable of being powered by up to 20 percent hydrogen in the fuel mix. Green hydrogen would also potentially be producible on-site by electrolysis, in case of excess PV production, and then be reused in the trigenerator.
With this transaction, Kohler Engines confirms its strategy of increasingly focusing on environmental sustainability, investing in multiple technological solutions on the road to energy transition. For its part, Grastim further expands and integrates its high-efficiency technology solutions for large industrial players committed to decarbonizing their manufacturing operations.
"At Kohler, we believe everything can constantly be improved, consistent with our belief that underlies the ‘Believing in Better’ philosophy," said Vincenzo Perrone, president of Kohler Engines. "After achieving the ISO 50001 certification, our Reggio Emilia facility is further accelerating its decarbonization and energy efficiency path. We are investing in renewable and diversified energy sources: a renewal that concerns not only the development of environmentally advanced technologies for our engines, but also the programs to reduce our operational environmental footprint of our production facilities.”
"After so many international experiences, it is a source of pride for Grastim to set foot in the heart of Italy's very own Motor Valley; we do so by proposing a hybrid solution, and above all a versatile one, to make room for subsequent technological evolutions, with a view to decarbonization and energy transition, already in the timeframe of the agreement just signed," said Baldo Pavolini, investments and operations director of Grastim.
"This project demonstrates the potential for hydrogen-ready gas engine CHP to combine with other low carbon power generation technologies and support cost and carbon reduction for manufacturers," said Alex Marshall, group business development and marketing director US, Clarke Energy.